"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." Brother David Steindl-Rast

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Overcoming Suffering

Today I am grateful for a sunset run with Darcy yesterday and for writing ideas that keep coming.

I have always respected Helen Keller's outlook on life. She overcame obstacles and didn't get mired in the muck of self-pity. Both blind and deaf, she saw and heard life at different levels better than many of us with all senses intact could. Simply considering how she took in the world around her helps me slow down and really notice what I am seeing and hearing. 

Here is one of her many quotes that I appreciate:

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."

If the mosaic I wrote about yesterday only had stones of trials and tribulations, or just stones of triumphs and treasures, the picture created would be dull, lacking the vivid colors of life fully lived. And like it or not, life fully lived will include suffering. We can't avoid it or run from it. That only leads to deeper suffering.  

But we also don't have to go looking for suffering. Some of our suffering is by choice. It can be hard for us to hear this, but it is true. The self-pity I spun in for years was a familiar choice and became my default. It led to much suffering and plenty of alcohol. My alcoholic mind was looking for suffering so it could justify the drinking.

Gratitude practice gives me strength when life presents challenges. It also helps me seek more joy, less suffering in my own thought processes.

This quote also reminds me of the deep appreciation for those who have helped me at times of suffering. Today, I will look for ways to alleviate suffering for others. Even in small ways, it helps. 

2 comments:

  1. Excellent post Lisa. Well-written and makes important points. Thanks.

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    1. And it also reminds me to not add to other's suffering by being unkind or insensitive. Thanks!

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